The average person spends around 26 years sleeping, so why not make sure it’s the cosiest time possible? From choosing a mattress that’ll have you pulling your PJs on at 6pm, to making sure your bed keeps that fresh sheet feeling every day, our tips will show you how to get comfortable in bed and spruce up your sleep time.
A comfortable mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep
A decent mattress is worth its weight in gold (and anyone who’s ever lugged one up the stairs knows just how heavy they are). However, the epitome of comfort to you might feel like a floor full of Lego to someone else. So, by all means, ask friends and family for recommendations and check online reviews, but make sure you try a few mattresses out before you decide what type is right for you.
Some people swear by the newer memory foam designs, while others have stayed loyal to the traditional spring coiled ones. Some sleepers want firm support while others want sink-into-it softness. So head to your local mattress shop, lay back, put your feet up and figure out what kind of mattress you want to snuggle up to each night.
Choosing the right pillow
As with mattresses, people tend to disagree about pillows. As a general rule, people who sleep on their back prefer thinner pillows; side-sleepers love their plump pillows and front-sleepers are only happy with the thinnest ones on the market. It’s all about achieving that holy grail of pillow-dom – one that gives you perfect alignment from your head and shoulders through your spine and down to your knees. If your head is too low or too high, you’re going to get neck pain or backache. So, again, the only way to find the best pillow is through trial and error. Do make sure you test different fillings as well as styles. Some people prefer the feel of goose down, while others are happier with wool, cotton, microfibre or foam.
Snuggling up in a cosy duvet
The key to a cosy duvet is getting one that keeps you at the right temperature. If you’re too hot or too cold, you won’t sleep as well. An all seasons duvet is a good choice. Basically, this is three duvets in one pack. You get a 4.5 tog duvet for those blissful two weeks of summer, along with a 9 tog one for spring and autumn. They can then be joined together if the Beast from the East decides to make an uninvited return trip. Whether you decide to go for hollowfibre, microfibre, wool or feather and down, really depends on your personal preference and budget.
Getting your cosy bedding right
Now you’ve got your comfy duvet, you need to protect it with a duvet cover. There are a bazillion patterns to choose from, but don’t let the look be the only deciding factor. Bedding made from man-made fibres is easy to care for, but less breathable than natural materials and doesn’t have that soft cotton feel. 100% cotton feels great, but is likely to need ironing after each wash (find out how to iron a duvet cover here).
A poly-cotton blend can be a good compromise if you want the feel of cotton with the ease of polyester. Or treat yourself to luxurious pure Egyptian cotton bedding, and persuade someone else to iron it for you. If you do go for pure cotton, remember that the higher the thread count, the softer the bedding. (And the more excuses you’ll be making to have a duvet day.)
Caring for your comfy bedding
Sadly, nothing stays new forever. But keeping your mattress, duvet, pillows and bedding clean and fresh will mean you get that ‘mmmmmm’ feeling every time you sink into bed. Not sure how to clean your duvet or how to tackle a stain on your mattress? Find out how to keep your mattress and bedding clean in this handy guide.
It probably goes without saying that fabric conditioner is a must if you want softer bedding that stays fresher for longer. Try using one with notes of lavender, which is relaxing and soothing and will aid better sleep.
Don’t forget the all-important extras
Want to create a boutique hotel feel in your bedroom? Try adding a knitted throw and pretty cushions to your bed. Plus, that throw isn’t just for decoration. At 3am when the cold is nibbling at your toes, it’s a lot easier to pull on an extra blanket than it is to climb up in the loft to dig out a different duvet.
Still not getting a decent night’s sleep? It might not be your bed that’s the problem. Check out our top sleep tips (no counting sheep, we promise).